The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is urging Congress to move forward with a bill known as the Dairy Pride Act, which would limit the ability of plant-based foods to use dairy terms on their labels. “It would prompt the FDA to enforce labeling standards saying that milk, as well as cheese, yogurt, ice cream – these are products that must be made from real milk as opposed to a substance made from a plant,” said Chris Galen, NMPF Senior Vice President of Member Services and Strategic Initiatives.
NMPF has worked on behalf of the dairy industry for decades now regarding the labeling issue. The standards defining what is and what is not a dairy food are already part of FDA regulations, however enforcement on the issue has been lacking.
“This legislation would not change the FDA’s existing standards, all it would do is compel the FDA to enforce those standards which unfortunately they’ve been on the books for many years and they really haven’t been effectively supported by what the FDA is doing in the marketplace,” said Galen. “This legislation is really Congress’ voice in prodding the FDA to do the work that it needs to be doing here.”
The legislation comes after a lengthy public comment period to evaluate the scope of the issue. With interest from Congress and support from the dairy industry, there is hope that mislabeling issues will finally be addressed. “A lot of time consumers don’t understand that not all milks are created equal, that a lot of things that are made from plants that are purporting to be like milk are not like milk when it comes to nutrition,” said Galen.
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